Power outages in Luzon ‘extraordinary occurrence,’ DOE exec tells Senate
MANILA, Philippines — A government official has cited as “extraordinary occurrence” recent power outages in parts of Luzon, as energy executives faced a Senate hearing Thursday to explain the sudden power supply interruption in the region.
Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Jesus Posadas told lawmakers that based on figures from generation companies and distribution utilities, power supply should have been sufficient to prevent Luzon power outages on April 11 and 12.
However, the “simultaneous unplanned outages of several power plants,” which could not have been forecasted, resulted to the loss of available power capacity, he said.
“Based on the figures, we were supposed to have sufficient power supply that week,” Posadas said during the hearing called by the Senate committee on energy.
“Regrettably, what could not have been forecasted were the simultaneous unplanned outages of several power plants,” he added.
Posadas said the “unfortunate unforeseen shutdowns” of the power plants resulted in the loss of 1,502 megawatts available capacity, despite the excess of 1,131MW over peak demand.
He also said DOE could not comment, make assumptions or speculate on the causes of the power outages since it is still under investigation.
“While we are currently investigating the matter, it is highly inappropriate for us to comment, make assumptions, or speculate on the causes of what we think is an extraordinary occurrence,” the DOE undersecretary noted.
“The entire industry must share collective responsibility over what happened,” Posadas added, referring to DOE, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), distribution utilities and generation companies.
“There are no quick fixes to such incidence. Rest assured, however, that the DOE is finding ways to prevent a similar incident from happening again.”
“The DOE puts consumers’ interest first and we are committed in ensuring that all efforts are made to deliver the best possible service to the public,” Posadas also said. /kga
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